Bee Berrie’s gluten & dairy-free Avocado & Chocolate Cookies
(found on-line via Jamie Oliver’s website and adapted – Makes eight to ten cookies)
Dark chocolate gooey treats – more like chewy Brownies than crumbly cookies!
Best made day before you want them, because they become gooier if kept in fridge overnight.
100-120g ripe avocado flesh (= I medium sized avocado peeled and de-stoned)
1 free-range egg – large
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp xanthan gum (optional – without this, the cookies are crumblier)
1 tsp baking powder
150g Light brown soft sugar (or caster sugar)*
50g Cocoa powder*
50g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Gluten-free or try any combination of rice, gram or quinoa flours)
100g roughly-chopped dark chocolate* (over 70% cocoa brands are usually dairy free, – or you could use plain chocolate chips, but check on the packet that they are dairy free)
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and line a baking tray/sheet with parchment paper.
2. Scoop the ripe avocado flesh into a large bowl and mash with a fork. Add the egg and vanilla into the bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until all the lumps disappear. Add sugar and mix.
3. Sift in all the dry ingredients and beat until a nice shiny consistent wet mix forms. It looks like a very sticky cake mix rather than a firm cookie dough.
4. Add the chopped chocolate chunks – you may wish to save some of the larger pieces to press into the top of each cookie before baking.
5. Using two metal spoons, dollop evenly sized round-shaped pieces onto your baking tray and smooth (try to avoid the dog-poo look – they don’t spread much when baking!). If you prefer a thicker, fudgier cookie, pile the mix high and bake for the full time, and if you like a thinner chewier cookie then spread them out more and bake for less. If you have reserved any chocolate chunks from previous step, press a couple of chocolate chunks into the top (but be careful the chocolate doesn’t burn in the oven).
6. Bake for around 12-15 minutes – they will be soft to the touch, but firm up when cooled. If you refrigerate them overnight, they turn even more gooey.
TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BUCKWHEAT COOKIES
Makes approximately 25 cookies
150g dark chocolate chips*
125g dark chocolate* (min 70% cocoa solids)
125g buckwheat flour
25g cocoa* sieved
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
60g unsalted butter
125g dark brown sugar* or Golden caster sugar*
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
2 large eggs – fridge cold
1. Put the chocolate chips in a shallow dish (or plate) and put in the fridge. Can also be put in the freezer. This is suggested so that the chips do not melt too much while baking, leaving you with nuggets of intense chocolate.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 C/gas mark 4 and line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment.
3. Roughly chop the dark chocolate and melt it either in a suitable bowl in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool a little.
4. In another bowl mix together the buckwheat flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt and fork to make sure everything’s well combined.
5. In yet another bowl (I use my freestanding mixer) cream together the softened butter and sugar with vanilla paste until caramel colour and fluffy. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Beat in the cooled melted chocolate then the fridge cold eggs. When both eggs are absorbed into the butter and sugar mixture turn the speed well down and carefully beat in very slowly the dry ingredients.
6. Fold in the chocolate chips (from the fridge or freezer – see above).
7. Put dollops of the dough (using a tablespoon) on the baking sheet(s) if using only one baking sheet put the remaining cookie dough in the fridge whilst the first batch is baking. Make sure you leave 6cm between each cookie. Try and make 25 cookies as it is best if they are not too large. You will tell from the ingredients these are quite rich cookies.
8. Bake for 9 – 10 minutes by which time the cookies will be just set at the edges, but otherwise seem undercooked, then remove the sheet from the oven and let the cookies sit on the warm tray for another 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
9. The cookie dough can be made ahead, then covered and stored in a fridge for up to 3 days. If the dough is too firm to scoop into tablespoons, let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
10. Cooked cookies should be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days.
Peanut and Raisin Cookies
Good Housekeeping recipe, 1991
125g softened butter or margarine
150g caster sugar*
150g plain white flour
2.5ml baking powder
125g crunchy peanut butter*
1. Grease 2 baking sheets and set over to 190 C/170C fan/375F/Gas mark 5
2. Beat together all the ingredients, except the raisins, until well-blended. Stir in the raisins
3. Spoon large teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheets, leaving room to spread. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown round the edges. Cool slightly before lifting onto a wire rack to cool completely
Makes about 30 biscuits
(Not sure why ‘flyers’?!) The recipe says these are ‘lovely and squidgy’ and they freeze well.)
100gms softened butter
75gms caster sugar*
50gms light muscovado sugar*
1 egg beaten (I think it’s best to use a small egg)
150gms of self-raising flour
50gms of fresh blueberries
(I have used my own frozen ones as well and there is no difference in the end product. I put the frozen blueberries on when they are still frozen)
2 baking sheets greased – (I cover mine with non-stick tin foil which saves greasing and washing the baking sheets!)
1. Cream butter and both sugars
2. Gradually add egg and beat well
3. Add flour and mix into a dough ball
(I have found the mixture to be too soft and it doesn’t come together into a dough ball – I haven’t yet experimented with a little more flour but I do think it needs a small egg.)
4. Shape into balls (impossible! I used a spoon to put the mixture on the trays) and arrange on baking sheets. Space out well as they spread alarmingly!
5. Press the ‘balls’ down until 1cm thick and press about four or five blueberries into each biscuit. (Depends on the size of the blueberries!)
6. Bake at 180C/350F/160C Fan/Gas 4 for 10-12 minutes. (I gave mine a bit longer as they didn’t look cooked!)
7. Leave to cool and then transfer to wire to cool
These biscuits will not keep for a long time because of the egg and the blueberries (which will go mouldy!) so eat within a day.
Cranberry Oat Crunchies
They are very crunchy and they freeze well.
90gms softened butter
75gms light muscovado sugar*
1 tsp vanilla extract
75gms of dried cranberries, halved (but I didn’t halve them!)
50 gms plain flour
75 gms porridge oats
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 baking sheets greased. (I cover mine with non-stick tin foil which saves greasing and washing the baking sheets!)
1. Cream the butter and sugar.
2. Stir in all other ingredients until all combined.
3. Shape into walnut-size balls, arrange on baking sheets and flatten a little.
4. Bake at 180C/350F/160C Fan/Gas 4 for 15-18 minutes.
5. Don’t over bake as it makes the cranberries very chewy!!
6. Transfer to wire to cool
Variation – replace cranberries with same quantity of any other dried fruit, eg raisins, snipped apricots, sultanas.
Fairtrade ingredients are marked with a *